How to Raise a Capable Child of Character
Raising capable, competent good kids is hard work. It is not easy, but the rules are simple. There are no short cuts. But the effort is well worth the reward later in life. We all need as much help as we can get. Here are a few parenting tips to help you raise a capable child of character.
- 1. Know your children. Get to know all you can about their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. A great tool that can help in this endeavor is the Primary Colors Personality Test. You can take, have your child(re) take it and take it for them so you can see if how you see your child is the same as how they see themselves.
- 2. Know your values. Take the time to sit down as a family and write out a careful, comprehensive list of values that your family stands for. Discuss why these values are important. Make sure your children help in the creation of your values list so they truly feel a part of putting the value list together. Then after the list is completed (although values can always be added at a family meeting) have each member of your family sign the values list. Then put the list of values in your child’s CAPABLES ‘Stand Tall’ Pocket so that you can both refer to the list easily and often. When a child knows the family values, it is easier for them to develop the character you want them to have.
- 3. Have a parenting plan. Don’t allow parenting to just happen in between your other responsibilities. Many parents are simply winging it! A parenting plan is a must. It directs and guides you like a friend or mentor and helps you feel confident about your parenting skills. A great parenting plan like the CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System can make parenting not only more FUN, but more effective. Be careful not to allow your busy schedule to crowd out one-on-one time with your kids. The CAPABLES Parenting Tool & G.R.E.A.T. Child Development System help you take the work out of parenting and turn it into play.
- 4. Think Ahead. Our children’s choices are determined by their future dreams and desires. Teach them to think ahead. What do they want to accomplish. What goals do they have for today, next week, next year or ten years from now? The CAPABLES Parenting Tool Think-A-Head and Thought Management Pocket is the perfect tool to help parents teach their child to think ahead, set goals and plan carefully for their futures.
- 5. Be the Miracle you want to see. Children are miracles. Choose how you want them to live, the values you want them to declare and the character you want them to display and then be that miracle for your children to witness. Don't get caught up feeling guilty when you mess up. We all make mistakes.
- 6. Listen, and teach your children to listen. Your children will tell you about their lives, their struggles, their gifts and talents, their hopes and dreams, but you must take the time to listen. Listening, and paying careful attention, is one of the greatest gifts of love we give to our children. It is equally important to teach your children to actively listen. 90% of good communication is our ability to listen. The CAPABLES “Feelings Talk-Listening Heart” is the perfect tool to help parents listen and teach their children to listen as well.
- 7. Be Accountable. Since we all make mistakes, teach your children how to behave after them make them. Be accountable. Be humble. Be strong enough to admit your mistakes. Say you are sorry. Teach your child(ren) that it is not the making of mistakes that determines the person, it is the accountability we are willing to assume that determines our character.
- 8. Eat together. There are many reasons not to find the time to eat together, but research has shown that families that eat together have a stronger bond and their children make better grades in school. No excuses, just do it.
- 9. Know your child’s friends. Friends have great influence on your child’s character. Be aware of your child’s friends. What are their values? Are they the kind of friends that you want for your child? You don't have to spend every minute at school to know what's going on, simply pay careful attention.
- 10. Notice and Commend. As you see your child doing something you like, respect or want to see more of, notice and commend the choice or action. Kids are being influenced every moment. Take time to capture those teachable moments, in a loving positive parent way.
- 11. Teach your child discipline. The only way to teach your child discipline is to discipline them. Discipline is not the same as punishing. Discipline is about teaching them. Do not allow your child to dominate, intimidate, humiliate or bully you. This makes a very unhappy child and a very unhappy parent. Every time you give in, back down, or fail to enforce boundaries, you teach your child that you can't be trusted. Be disciplined; and discipline your child with strength and love.
- 12. ENJOY. Have fun. We learn best while we're laughing. Lighten up. Practice teaching your children through humor. Don't take yourself too seriously, even though parenting is a serious job.
13. Give them room to grow. Step back. Don’t hover. Give them room to grow. Let them be who they are meant to be. Sometimes it is difficult to separate our dreams for our children from the dreams they have for themselves. Ask yourself if what you want is truly for them, or if your desires represent unfulfilled needs of your own. Getting clear about this question is very important if you want your child to live the greatness within them.
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